Edward V.

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Edward V.
Coat of arms of King Edward V

Edward V (born November 2 or 4, 1470 , † probably 1483 in London ) was the eldest son of King Edward IV of England and his wife Elizabeth Woodville and the brother of Elizabeth of York , who later became the wife of Henry VII.


As early as 1471, his father Edward named him the sixth Prince of Wales , the English heir to the throne, and had this decision recognized by parliament. De jure, the young prince was given full power over England when his father set out on a campaign to France in 1475. In fact, an advisory and guardianship staff performed this task.

Before Edward IV died unexpectedly after a short illness on April 9, 1483, he had the guardianship of Edward and his younger brother Richard of Shrewsbury his brother, the future King Richard III. , including the regency for the 12-year-old. However, the powerful family of the queen widow tried to gain control of the empire and seized the state treasure and the fleet. The new king's uncle allied himself with two influential members of the throne council, William Hastings, 1st Baron Hastings , and Henry Stafford , the Duke of Buckingham , and opposed the de facto takeover of the Woodville family. On April 30, 1483 at Stony Stratford there was a decisive clash between Richards and Buckinghams and the young king, who was accompanied by a strong bodyguard under the leadership of an uncle of the king's maternal side, Anthony Woodville, 2nd Earl Rivers . After a first palpation, Rivers was arrested at Richard's orders, as Rivers had undermined Richard's relationship with the young king. Now Richard explained to his nephew the violation of his mother's against the last will of the late king. Eduard V then went into the care of his uncle, although it is not clear how much influence he really had on this decision, as his mentor Thomas Vaughan and his half-brother Richard Gray , who were among his entourage, were arrested at the same time .

A little later, Robert Stillington , the Bishop of Bath and Wells , announced in London that the children of Elizabeth Woodville and Edward IV were illegitimate because the king had previously been engaged to Eleonore Talbot , the daughter of the Earl of Shrewsbury , who had since died. This allegation could not be proven, but it quickly spread in London. The logical conclusion was that Edward was not a legitimate heir to the throne. It is not clear whether Richard believed Stillington's accusations, or whether he saw them merely as an opportunity to usurp the throne. On June 23, Buckingham represented Richard's claim to the throne at a meeting of nobility. On the 25th Parliament declared Richard the rightful heir to the throne, and Edward V lost his title de jure after the de facto loss of his kingship. A few months later Parliament published the document Titulus Regius .

Edward V and his brother as prisoners in the Tower, painting by Paul Delaroche
Edward V burial site in Westminster Abbey

Eduard was arrested with his brother in the tower. Nobody saw the two boys after 1483, so it is generally assumed that they died that year. Whether they perished of illness or were murdered remains a matter of investigation and speculation, with four people suspected of murder. Sir James Tyrrell was a retainer of Richard III, who was at the time in the Tower on behalf of the king. So here could be a contract killing to later possibly annoying opponents for Richard III. to eliminate on his behalf. Buckingham would also have had a good motive, who had access to the Tower at any time and who, due to his close relationship to the Plantagenets, was also said to have ambitions for the throne. In addition to Richard III. is the fourth again and again, z. B. by P. Kendall, who later became King Henry VII Tudor, who after his victory over Richard III. 1485 at the Battle of Bosworth Field could have eliminated other possible pretenders to the throne . During the reign of Henry VII there were various men who claimed to be one of the sons of Edward IV. However, the claims could never be proven and did not endanger the rule of the first Tudor king.

See also the princes in the tower .


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Commons : Eduard V.  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
predecessor Office successor
Edward of Westminster Prince of Wales
Duke of Cornwall
Earl of Chester
Edward of Middleham
New title created Earl of March
Title merged with the crown
New title created Earl of Pembroke
Title merged with the crown
Edward IV King of England
Lord of Ireland
Richard III